By KBB.com Editors
One year after a brush with near-bankruptcy and with a hefty styling infusion care of Italian car maker Fiat, Dodge has once again avoided being swept into the junkyard of history. One of the most deserving recipients of Dodge's design rebirth is the Dodge Avenger mid-sized sedan, a car that had once been roundly criticized for its dull interiors, mediocre drivetrain and low resale value. But, the 2011 Dodge Avenger is a totally different animal, with an aggressive new exterior, a stunningly modern interior and one of the best drivetrain and suspension setups in its class. If ever there was a case of turning a sow's ear into a silk purse, the 2011 Dodge Avenger is it.
If you're brain says "Charger" but your wallet says "used car," the 2011 Dodge Avenger may be your knight in shining armor. Its bold styling, great handling and affordable price will satisfy both your enthusiast and economical sides.
If you're looking for subtle but upscale styling, cutting-edge refinement and best-in-class resale value, you might be happier with the VW Jetta or Hyundai Sonata.
The 2011 Dodge Avenger receives a complete makeover, with new front and rear styling, new wheels, a completely new interior, new suspension and steering and an available 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine.
Driving Impressions The 2011 Dodge Avenger is a truly great driver's car. A thorough reworking of the car's suspension, brakes and steering systems has netted a mid-size sedan that...– if it wasn't for the big Dodge ram head staring up from the steering wheel's center – you would swear was built by VW or Nissan. Dodge has managed to blend a soft comfortable ride with a responsive chassis that can carve up twisting mountain roads as easily as it floats over long freeway stretches. The new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 puts the muscle behind the 2011 Dodge Avenger's moves, delivering impressive power, silky-smooth operation and pretty decent fuel economy. Connecting wheels to engine is Dodge's new six-speed AutoStick automatic transmission. While it's fun to shift your own gears, the AutoStick is not as quick or precise as some newer dual-clutch transmissions. But, as the automatic does an excellent job of finding and holding the correct gear, we don't think you'll miss the manual-shift feature in the long run.
Uconnect Infotainment System
This optional hard drive-based system includes navigation with real-time traffic information, MP3/WMA music and JPEG image uploading via a high-speed USB port, auxiliary audio input, voice recognition, voice message recording and playback, Bluetooth hands-free cell-phone connectivity and more.
3.6-liter Pentastar V6
Quite possibly one of the best V6 engines every produced, the new Pentastar V6 pulls like a V8, purrs like a Lexus and returns impressive fuel economy.
The most noticeable change attributed to the 2011 Dodge Avenger is its interior. Gone are the primer-gray tones and hard plastic surfaces, replaced by a more organic dash design, soft-touch materials on the armrests, console and dash and a new color pallet that includes rich ebony, warm sand and even a two-tone red-on-black theme. Dodge has used extensive sound deadening materials to help quiet the Avenger's cabin while simultaneously giving it some very loud audio options, including a six-speaker Boston Acoustics upgrade and a navigation radio with a 30-gigabyte hard drive capable of storing up to 4,250 songs.Exterior
Although its profile is still familiar, the 2011 Dodge Avenger is a far better looking car than the model it replaces. A new front crosshair grille and aggressive lower air intake are complimented by projector-beam fog lamps and honeycomb-textured grille inserts. Around back, the Avenger receives a new rear valence and larger tail lamps with a "ring of fire" LED light pattern. The Avenger's overall fit and finish are also noticeably improved, with better fitting plastic pieces, tighter tolerances between body panels and much more lustrous paint choices. Rounding out the 2011 Dodge Avenger's new look is a set of aggressive wheel choices: 17-inch on Express and Mainstreet trims and 18-inch alloy on LUX and Heat models.
A 2011 Dodge Avenger Express features a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, four-speed automatic transmission, CD/MP3 audio system with auxiliary input jack, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, air conditioning, power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry, cruise control, height-adjustable driver's seat with manual lumbar support, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, 17-inch steel wheels with plastic wheel covers, 60/40 rear seat with pass-through and folding armrest and a security alarm. Standard safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic traction and stability control and front, front-seat side-mounted and side-curtain airbags.
The highlight of the 2011 Dodge Avenger's optional equipment list is the comprehensive Uconnect navigation, entertainment and communication system. Other standouts include a 6.5-inch touch screen CD/DVD/MP3/HDD radio with 30-gigabyte hard drive, Voice Command and USB interface, Sirius Satellite Radio, Boston Acoustics speaker package, Bluetooth cell phone connectivity with streaming audio, eight-way power driver's seat, automatic climate control, auto on/off headlamps, heated front seats, leather seats, remote start, 18-inch wheels and a power moonroof.
The Avenger's base 2.4-liter "world gas engine" has been given numerous upgrades to help it perform better and with less noise, vibration and harshness. Producing 173 horsepower, the 2.4-liter is not the most powerful in its class, but at least it can now keep up with the pack leaders. The real star of the Avenger line up is the all-new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which produces an impressive 283 horsepower yet returns highway fuel economy figures around 30 mpg. The 3.6-liter engine is also E85-compatible.
2.4-liter in-line 4
173 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
166 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30 (4-speed auto), 20/31 (6-speed auto)
283 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
260 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/29 (gas), 14/21 (E85)
By Biggsey on Thursday, August 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Lifetime powertrain warranty"
Cons: "could use a turbo"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I purchased new my 2008 avenger sxt with 2.7 v6 and auto. I have 18000 miles now and even still have the original battery after 6 yrs.I get 30+ miles per gal on highway and around 25 in town.Not the fastest car but it did come with the lifetime powertrain warranty so its a keeper for me.It rated low with the car mags but mine has been fab."
By abby on Thursday, July 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Almost no issues after 7 years."
Cons: "Original breaks were inferior."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Great car. The only issue I have had with this vehicle is the brakes, which I had to replace at 13k. Other than that is has been excellent."
4 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Fitz on Tuesday, July 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,650overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "GREAT OVERALL VEHICLE/ SUBSTANTIAL FEEL TO IT!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"A GREAT CAR A GREAT VALUE FUN TO DRIVE EXTREMELY POWERFUL! U CONNECT SYSTEM WORKS AWESOME! A TOUGH LOOKING CAR IN A WORLD OF BUBBLES THIS VEHICLE LOOKS MEAN AND LEAN!"
1 person out of 4 found this review helpful
By Avenger on Sunday, June 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Power, Gas MPG, Comfort"
Cons: "After 3 years owning I have none."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I averaged about 23 MPG and got up to 37MPG. This with a V6 was incredible. I did not take many long trips but had 5 of us in the car for over an hour once and all of us were 250lbs+. Everyone agreed it was comfortable. The trunk is very large, 2 sets of clubs were not a problem. The power was great except in the snow, then I had some issues at first but soon figured out how to drive her just fine."
10 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By tricey on Wednesday, May 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 73,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Low Mileage and Excellent Engine"
Cons: "Spare Tire and Cracked Bumper"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"The car has three new tires and one spare (Had blow-out on front passenger side 2 wks ago)Right side bumper cracked."
5 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Betsie on Monday, May 19, 2014
I don't own this caroverall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "None to speak of"
Cons: "Annoying dinging entire time driver's door open"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I would NEVER own this vehicle. I rented one for a week and found it to be the most uncomfortable car I've ever driven. The continuous dinging from the time the driver's door opened until it was closed was most annoying. It was very difficult to get in and out of even with the steering wheel up as far as it would go, in spite of my being only 5'3" and my legs are not very long. It was also difficult for my passengers to get in and out. It was quite sluggish getting away from a stop and I certainly would not rent this car again for any reason."
5 people out of 21 found this review helpful